“Corruption is the manifestation of the failure of core values in the society.” In your opinion, what measures can be adopted to uplift the core values in the society?
Title: Corruption: A Direct Result of Eroding Core Values in Society
Corruption, largely viewed as one of the most pervasive and insidious societal ills, is not simply a matter of faulty systems or lack of law enforcement. It is fundamentally a manifestation of the failure of core values in the society. The term ‘corruption’ is synonymous with abusive use of public power for personal gains, and has harmful implications that extend way beyond individual acts. To understand corruption fully, one cannot overlook the importance of societal values and how their degradation contributes to this widespread menace.
Drawing from the Indian context, corruption has insidiously infiltrated several areas of public life – from obtaining basic services like birth certificates and driving licenses to more significant areas like judiciary, politics, and public procurement. In the year 2020, India ranked 86 out of 180 countries in Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index, signifying that it is a systemic issue that needs urgent attention.
What drives a bureaucracy officer to accept bribes or a politician to engage in embezzlement? Often, it is the sweeping moral degeneration and demise of ethics that influences such behavior. When moral values like honesty, integrity, and responsibility become overshadowed by greed and ruthlessness, corruption emerges.
Considering rampant corruption in Indian politics, the infamous 2G spectrum scandal provides an apt illustration. Telecommunication companies and political elites conspired together, leading to a scam worth INR 1.76 lakh crore. This incident reflects how the spirit of public service, honesty, and obedience of the law was sidelined for personal greed.
Another glaring example is the Vyapam Scam of Madhya Pradesh, where officials and ministers accepted monetary compensation to manipulate the eligibility criteria for government jobs and educational institutes. Again, ethical values such as fairness, justice, and equality were thrown to the winds, exemplifying the role of eroding core values in fostering corruption.
So, how can we combat corruption at its roots? The solution lies in revitalizing and embedding core values back into society. And there exists several potential avenues to achieve this:
1. Education: It’s an excellent platform to inculcate integrity, honesty, fairness, and responsibility. Including value-based education in the curriculum could play a pivotal role in curbing corruption from a young age.
2. Strong Legal Framework: Enacting stringent laws devoid of loopholes can deter corrupt practices. For instance, the prompt and decisive action of the Supreme Court in the 2G Spectrum case set a benchmark for corruption-related prosecutions.
3. Empowering Citizens: Encouraging active citizenship and fostering agency in reporting corruption is critical. Encouraging whistle-blowers through legislative protection and rewards can be an effective strategy.
4. Transparency: Promote transparency in administration and public procurement processes. Digital India initiative aimed at firms becoming more transparent and accountable is a step in this direction.
5. Accountability: Hold public officials accountable for their actions and inactions. Strengthening institutions like the Lokpal and the Central Vigilance Commission could serve as a check on the abuse of power.
To conclude, while challenging, the fight against corruption is not insurmountable. By committing to the nurturing and reinstatement of core societal values through education, legislation, citizen empowerment, transparency, and accountability, a significant dent can be made in India’s corruption landscape. In essence, socio-moral rebuilding is a vital requirement to stem corruption. PC-2 aspirants, let’s remember that transforming society isn’t just about processes and structures; it’s as much about values and morals we hold dear.